Estately is an up-and-coming real estate brokerage based in Seattle that is bringing its business to the web and mobile devices. The service is known for having the best user interface in the business, beating out the bigger guys like Zillow and Refdin, which pack ads and featured agents into their home listings.
Estately released an iOS companion to its web service and we were able to take it for a spin. The Real Estate by Estately app has a search-driven UI that allows you to find houses in your area. It includes filters so you can limit the size, price and other factors in the houses that it displays in the search results. The app conveniently shows nearby listings on a map. Clicking on a listing pulls up an image and some basic details on the house without obscuring the map. This is very useful as you can see the house location on a map and the housing details at the same time.
Tapping on the house details will bring up a full-screen view that shows all the details on the house. Details include a slideshow of images, price, house information and description, listing history, realtor contact, a map and school information. The layout is so attractive that it makes even the most unsightly house look beautiful. If you want to follow up on a listing, you can contact the real estate agent who is selling the house. You can also favorite it, if you are signed into your Estately account.
One of the most useful features in Estately is the "Saved Search" alerts. These alerts notify you when a new house is listed that meets your criteria, or when a current house on your search list either drops in price or is sold. Estately updates its listings several times a day, allowing you to get the jump on a new or discounted house. Though you browse listings without signing into any service, this alert service requires an Estately account. You can create one online or through the app.
When you find a house in which you are interested, you can use the service to direct you to an agent. Estately works with select real estate brokerages in most states and doesn't offer up your information to the highest bidder.
Estately is nationwide and provides MLS listing in 30 states, so not everyone can take advantage of the service. It is available in Washington, California, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, New Jersey, Vermont, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts, Ohio, Minnesota and New Hampshire.
The Real Estate by Estately app is available for free from the iOS App Store.